Change is Good, According to Health Fair 2015
April 2015 – Saturday, April 4 dawned sunny and clear, the perfect day for a trip up river or digging in the garden, but many Wrangellites chose instead to spend their morning at the Annual Health Fair.
“We were a little nervous about what attendance this year might look like after making such a radical change by moving blood draws to the hospital for the month preceding the health fair,” explained Health Fair committee member Kris Reed. “The community had already given us pretty solid feedback that they appreciated having the blood draws at the hospital and liked that there was greater flexibility in choosing when to have their blood drawn, but we weren’t sure how many might actually show up to the fair itself. We shouldn’t have worried!”
Organizers estimate that roughly 400 Wrangellites turned out to pick up information and freebies offered by the 46 vendors, as well as spending time visiting with their neighbors. “With all the focus on the changes in the blood draw process, we sort of forgot what a social event the Health Fair is,” remarked Reed. “It was a little bit slow between 8 and 9 am, but after that there was a really steady flow of attendees – which is vastly different from previous year’s attendance patterns when folks all showed up in the first couple of hours then it was very quiet from about 10:30 on.”
Many of those who manned the booths also noted that folks seemed less harried and that they had opportunities for better conversations with the attendees. “People were a lot happier,” noted one vendor, “and they weren’t hurrying off to grab breakfast.”
While there was a noticeable absence of information from many of the state agencies who normally attend (due to many travel budgets being cut), there was a great representation of local groups and organizations, as well as visitors from SEARHC, US Coast Guard, Guardian Flight and Airlift Northwest.
Local favorites such as the Teddy Bear Booth and the Early Childhood Coalition had information for children and parents. Folks who picked up their blood draw results and didn’t like what they saw were also able to make an appointment on the spot to discuss their results with their provider.
Wrangellites saved a combined $467,030.92 in having blood draws at the special Health Fair rate of $25 per test. A total of 1,601 tests were done (475 people participated in the blood draws – some had more than one test done) with a normal cost ranging from $128.17 for the HA1c test to $658.93 for the Health Profile (which is actually 4 tests in one).
“It is a service to the community to be able to provide these tests at the specially reduced rate,” said WMC CEO, Marla Sanger, “Wrangell supports WMC in so many ways, this is just one way we can give back to our community.”
Health Fair 2016
Health Fair 2016 will be here before you know it! We're planning on Saturday, April 2, at the Nolan Center. Check with Kris Reed (907-874-7196) if you wish to be a vendor or click the above link if you are a returning vendor.